Saturday, September 20, 2008

What are Friday nights for again?

Friday is a dead day. Friday TV is a barren wasteland. Friday on the internet is when site updates tail off. Even the message boards empty. On Friday, you have to make your own fun. You are EXPECTED to make your own fun. No matter how pathetic you are, you have to have some social thing to do on Friday. It's natural law!

And then there's me, sitting in my mother's basement, cursing Netflix for now moving instantly and leaving me without the comforting space opera - a genre synonymous with lonely Fridays. (TNT's ST:TNG marathons on Fridays were awesome for making me forget I was friendless until my junior year of high school.)

What else could I do? CARTOONING! I finished the Jacob ramble strip and went on to the Max ramble strip before my brain shut down. So. Much. Text. At this point I could have tried to move on and draw something to excite me, but instead I decided to harvest my misery and use it as the fuel to sustain me through MIND-NUMBING TEDIUM!

Yes, friends, I worked on the Precocious website! Coding tedium aside, I *also* had to scan, size and photoshop all the comics. It took a while to figure out the proper method, but I chose not to look back. Yeah, the first strip didn't come out well. Yeah, I never went back and fixed Suzette's yelling in strip #17. Fuck it! If I stopped to think I'd just collapse in a dull heap!

So now I have 23 strips on the site for the viewing pleasure of the person who reads this. Man, I hope they're good enough. I have my doubts.

My hope is that, as the creator, I am just too close to the work. All I can see now are the thousands of errors and failures in the strips. Too many strips fail on comic timing. Other strips lose their impact because I can't quite get facial expressions correct. The lettering is unprofessional. It's sloppy drawing all around. ACK! Should I be feeling *pride* instead?

Granted, a lot of these problems are due to the inevitable pilot problems. At this is the first look into Precocious, I have to forcefully present the premise and the characters in a way that establish an identity immediately. Instead of nuance, I have to introduce personalities in bullet point format. Thus, as each character appears they inevitably monologue. I *have* to get this stuff down and it's up to me to do my best in making it work. The clunkiness is the consequence of creating a pilot. The BEST creators make it look easy... but I won't get there until I have more experience. Even the most skilled creative types need some trial and error to figure out the best use of their immense talents.

Sadly enough, I chose the *worst* time to post what I had on the web. The introduction strips stop at... strip 24, which will likely be posted later today. Starting at 25, the STORY begins to move and the characters are freed to interact without the "THIS IS WHO I AM AND THIS IS WHAT I DO!" shackles restricting them.

Just remember: For many quality TV shows, a clunky pilot is often followed by a CLASSIC second episode. I sincerely hope that the upcoming strips will make the reader forget the choppy pace of the opener. I'm not saying I will magically become an expert cartoonist overnight - only experience can help me fine-tune the drawing and timing - but if I can end this "pilot" arc on a high note, then there will be hope for Precocious yet!

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